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Epic Theology

Finding God through the lens of an artist

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New Years

Was 2016 the Year of the Writer?

goal-setting-feature

Hey folks,

Early last year, I made some goals for myself in regards to my writing. I want to take some time to look over those goals and see how I did. In doing so, perhaps I can make some more goals for this year!

Here they are:

Finish my novel
Finish two short stories
Writing a draft of my graphic novel
Write and produce 1 radio play
Write 500 words a day, 6 days a week.

Let’s see how I did:

Finish my novel:

Nope. I continued to work on it, and we are now nearing the climax of the story, but I was not able to finish.

Finish two short stories:

Again, not this year. I started a couple of stories, and read one of my old ones at a public reading, but I have not been able to finish any shorts this year.

Write a draft of my graphic novel:

This plan kind of changed over the course of the year. Instead of a single issue graphic novel, I’ve decided to produce this book as a four-part miniseries. The first issue is written, I have an artist interested, and we may go into production soon. I’ll give this one a half.

Write and produce 1 radio play:

I wish. I have a lot of plans for this project, but they haven’t come through yet. I had also intended to use the radio play format for our Christmas services this year, but that changed into something else as well.

Write 500 words a day, 6 days a week:

I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought I could do this. At this point in my life, finding the time to write consistently for at least 1/2 hour a day is pretty hard. To be honest, I could possibly do it, but its not really a high enough priority to make it happen. That’s life sometimes.

So, with perhaps 0.5/5 completed, am I discouraged? Not at all. Let’s take a look at what I actually accomplished with my writing this year.

I wrote 9 blog posts. Not my best, but it’s a start.

I wrote, directed, and shot 9 monologues for our Good Friday services. This was a project we had wanted to do for years, so it felt very good to have it finally come together.

I wrote, directed, and acted in 1 small drama for a sermon illustration.

I wrote, directed, and acted in 1 short play on human trafficking in Calgary as part of an awareness campaign that should be starting up this year.

I wrote 2 poems. Well, 1 of them I co-wrote with my boss as part of one of our services.

I wrote 4 short pieces on Advent, one for each week leading up to Christmas.

I wrote 3 short videos for our Advent series (that’s where the radio play thing was going to go, but it morphed into videos).

I wrote and directed our Family Service, which focuses on engaging kids with the Christmas message.

Finally, I wrote, directed, and acted in our Christmas Eve Service. Christmas is a big time for me, both emotionally (I love Christmas), and with work-load.

So, looking back on all of this, I would say that I’ve had a fairly successful year as a writer. In January, I was very focused on side projects I wanted to pursue, but with family, health, and work to deal with, I had to narrow my focus to mainly the jobs I was being paid for.

I encourage you to look back over your past year with a  little scrutiny. What did you want to accomplish in 2016? Where did you succeed? Where did your goals need to change to match your life circumstances? Where can you focus your energy this year coming up?

Let me know how your year went!

Blessings

2016 – The Year of the Writer

Well, folks, it’s that time of year. The time we all sit down and think about how different we would like to be. How much fitter, kinder, and more productive. How we’re going to be at the gym all the time and eat kale and take that dance/art/photography course we’ve been looking at but never really had the time.

It’s the time for New Year’s Resolutions!

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to http://www.statisticbrain.com, 62% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions include losing weight, getting organized, and spending less/saving more. (As an aside, my favourite from their top ten list is ‘fall in love.’ I don’t ever remember having that on my to-do list, but apparently it’s a popular one…)

Unfortunately, only about 8% of people actually follow through with their resolutions. It seems that commitment to self-improvement only lasts so long in the face of chocolate, Netflix, and a very comfy couch.

This has become almost a running joke with New Year’s Resolutions. The question stops being ‘Did you keep your resolutions?’ and starts being ‘How long did you keep your resolutions?’

This can be pretty disheartening for those of us who want to use the turning of the years as a jumping off point for making a few changes in our lives.

So, for me, I’ve decided to set some goals. Not resolutions, per se, but things that I want to get done this year and new habits I want to form. Most of these fall into two categories: writing and health.

Writing

I’ve been really leaning into my writing over the past few months. Between the blog, short stories, my novel, and church dramas, I’ve written a healthy number of words. But this year, I want to finish a few of my projects and develop writing habits that will help me build my skills and dedication to the craft. So, my goals for 2016 include:

Finishing my novel
Finishing two short stories
Writing a first draft of a graphic novel
Write and produce at least one radio play
Write at least 500 words a day, 6 days a week

Health

It’s quite the cliche, but I also have health goals for this year. After a season of feasting and indulging in all sorts of holiday goodies, my family has decided to focus on healthier options for this year. Rather than going cold turkey on most of our less-healthy options, we are going to try replacing them slowly with healthier choices. We then want to add some exercise into our daily routines and drink green tea every morning and our full 8 cups of water a day. Hopefully this will help us build up strong, healthy bodies that are able to serve God and create art for many years to come.

To help with all of these goals, I’ve searched out a little help. I received a Fitbit for Christmas that will help with getting me up and moving each day and will monitor my water intake. For my daily habits, I’m using the app Habitica, which turns your life into a bit of a game, rewarding you for keeping your habits and punishing you for breaking them.

What about you? Are you looking to improve yourself physically, artistically, or spiritually this year? If so, what sort of things are you doing to ensure that you don’t fall back into old habits?

In 2016, let’s all push ourselves a little to be better artists, better people, and better faith-filled worshipers.

Blessings,

 

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